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Bruce L. Johnson, 50, of Wayne City, Illinois, the former Manager of Finance and Office Services for Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative and Treasurer of the Wayne City First Christian Church, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Benton to 18 months in prison for defrauding both organizations, announced Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Johnson pled guilty in April to charges that between 2007 and 2013 he used his trusted positions with both organizations to steal over $350,000 in Cooperative and Church funds. Throughout that time period Johnson regularly used the United States mail to send unauthorized, and in many cases forged, checks drawn on the organizations’ respective bank accounts to his personal creditors and others.
In addition to the 18 month term of imprisonment, Johnson was ordered to pay $400 in special assessments to the United States and restitution as follows: 1) a total of $334,871.24 to Wayne-White Electrical Cooperative and its insurer, Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange; and 2) a total of $47,876.96 to the First Christian Church of Wayne City and its insurer, Erie Insurance Company. Johnson was also placed on a 3 year term of supervised release to follow his incarceration during which time he will be required to perform 250 hours of community service.
Johnson will remain on bond pending designation by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to the facility where he will begin serving his sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fairfield Police Department and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.